Gee, what can you say about Chicago? It IS the
best place in the states to railfan, without a doubt (and perhaps the
world!?). It literally is, the crossroads of American rail service.
On the cover of Trains
magazine's July 2003 issue, they have a banner that says "If you want to
know railroads, you've got to know Chicago". I am going to modify that
by saying you need to VISIT Chicago, for without experiencing Chicago in
person, and what it offers the railfan, you really can't get a full grasp of
Name anything related to railroading: stations, towers,
yards, trains, crossings, signals, whatever, and Chicago has more of
them than anywhere else.
There are currently SIX Class 1 railroads coming into Chicago these days, they are:
-- Norfolk Southern
-- Union Pacific
-- Canadian National
-- Canadian Pacific
In addition, you also have the Iowa
Interstate, and two locals: the Belt
Railway of Chicago (the BRC), and the Indiana
Harbor Belt (the IHB).
Amtrak, of course, provides interstate passenger service....
And the commuter railroads that service Chicago are METRA
and the NICTD, formerly known
as the South Shore. METRA provides service radiating out of
Chicago, and the NICTD runs trains from western Indiana into Chicago.
Since the Chicago area encompasses such a large area, it
is difficult to have a detailed map in such a small place. The map
above only gives you small idea of what it around, and where things are
related to each other.....
When railfanning, one the things you should have with you
(laws providing), is a scanner. A radio will let you in on what's
happening, and where trains are. If you are not from the area, make
friends with a local who can clue you in to the names and particulars you
will hear on the radio.
Note: Trains of one railroad will usually use the host's
channels to communicate with, if they are running on another's track.
AAR 66 - 161.100 BNSF Line
(BNSF Road Channel 1)
AAR 61 - 161.025 Electric District
AAR 54 - 160.920 Heritage Corridor
AAR 44 - 160.770 Milwaukee District
North (ex SOO & MILW)
AAR 94 - 161.520 Milwaukee District
AAR 62 - 161.040 Union Pacific North
(ex CNW to Kenosha WI)
AAR 52 - 160.890 Union Pacific
Northwest (ex CNW to Harvard)
AAR 62 - 161.040 Union Pacific West
(ex CNW to Geneva)
AAR 22 - 160.044 Southwest Service
(to Manhattan, NS road Ch 3)
AAR 99 - 161.610 Rock Island District
Road 2 AAR 76 - 161.250 (ex NKP
line to Ft Wayne)
Road 3 AAR 22 - 160.440 (ex Wabash line,
Metra to Orland Park)
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.